Definitely the worst coastal town in Montenegro is Bar. At the same time, there are several obvious advantages that are not found in other resorts. The most objective overview of the city, why you don’t need to go here to rest, and who will still like this place. I’ll tell you about all the main attractions of Bar, about the beaches, the best restaurants and what tourists can do in general.
Table of contents:
- The city of Bar in Montenegro: general information
- Pros: who will like to stay in this city
- Cons of staying in Bar
- About the city’s beaches
- The best restaurants in Bar or where to eat deliciously
- TOP 5 places or what to do in Bar for a tourist and its surroundings
- Hotels and apartments
- Shopping: big shops in the city. Is it true that shopping here is better than in Italy?
- How to get there: by bus, train
It will be difficult for you to plan your dream trip to Montenegro without these websites
Bar in Montenegro: general information
The city of Bar is the most important transport and logistics center of the country, and in many ratings it is called a tourist resort. At the same time, local residents do not consider it a resort. Below is general information about the city:
- City coordinates on the map: 42.091456256589964, 19.089775118984097
- The city was founded in the 6th century AD (this is the first written mention). But the tribes of the Illyrians lived here in the 4th century BC.
- Population: about 15 thousand people. By Montenegrin standards, this is a fairly large city.
Important:Most of the coastline and cities are also occupied by: a naval base, the largest port in the country, a marina for yachts, the largest cargo railway terminal in Montenegro.
The only railway line from the large industrial cities of Montenegro (Podgorica and Niksic) to the coast goes exactly to Bar. It is also the only port that accepts and sends cargo ferries to Italy and throughout the Mediterranean. A huge share of the entire trade turnover in the country passes through the port and railway terminal in Bar. That is why it is an important transport and logistics hub of the country.
- And it is also the only city in Montenegro from where you can get to Italy with your car in 8 hours by ferry, and not drive 2000 km around the mainland. From Montenegro to Italy: ferries and plane.
Pros: who will like to spend vacation in this city
Although I write that this is not quite a tourist city, the Bar definitely has advantages. And he gets his part of the tourists.
Interesting to know:The city is divided into two parts Old and New Bar. The old one was founded in the 6th century, there are the remains of a fortress and some sights. But it is located in the mountains 5 km from the sea and you need to go there by bus / car. And the New Bar was designed and built up already under Yugoslavia and its development is not typical for Montenegro.
- Most of his city is on the plain. Unlike other cities, you won’t be climbing up and down stairs. For those who come with small children – this is a huge advantage.
- Wide and smooth sidewalks, without paving stones.
- Wide roads for cars and a large number of parking lots. If Bar is your first town in Montenegro, you won’t notice it. But after Kotor, Budva, Herceg Novi, where all parking lots are paid, and even there there are no places, Bar is the best city for car owners.
Cheap City:And yet Bar is considered a cheap city for vacation tourists. I probably agree that food and prices in restaurants are approximately the same throughout the country. But accommodation is cheaper here. Even in season there are many options for apartments and hotels in the range of 20-30 euros. In Budva or Kotor, the same options are from 30 euros .
Cons of vacation in Bar
- The main disadvantage is the beaches. At the beginning of the article there was a photo of Bar from a bird’s eye view. And there you can see that the railway terminal, military base, port and marina occupy most of the coastline. There is a beach, but there is always muddy (dirty) water and the beach is poorly cleaned. About the beaches read below.
- The main promenade along the sea and the beach is also not well maintained. You can walk here, but there is not that delight and views, as in other cities of Montenegro.
- A disadvantage that is not obvious. The Bar doesn’t look much like a Mediterranean resort town. There are no sights here, like in Budva or Kotor. You will definitely see the whole Bar already on the first evening, but what next?
About the city’s beaches
The main beach of Bar is a little over 2km long, but very poorly maintained. Of course, people swim and sunbathe here, but most go out of town to the beaches. The proximity of the cargo port made the city’s main beach unattractive.
It makes no sense to write a lot, it is better to show once.
Below is a map of the sights of Bar, there are marked beaches where you can go swimming with beautiful views and clear water.
- Main beach of the city: 42.10217, 19.08904. In fact, these 2km beaches in Bar are divided into two beaches: Barski beach and Topolica. But in fact it is one beach.
- Most of all tourists and locals go to Šušanj beach or Šušanjska Plaža to sunbathe and swim: 42.10968917586614, 19.08598178354205. Only 2 km from the center of Bar. You can also walk.
- There is a small Red Beach 3.5 km from Bar. It is so named for the pinkish tint of the sand: 42.12011, 19.07049. In the high season there are a lot of people here and the whole beach is occupied by sun loungers for 10-15 euros per day.
- And 5-6 km from the city in the same direction is the resort village of Sutomore. There is a very interesting beach, to get to it you need to go through a 200-meter tunnel in the rock. A detailed overview of the city of Sutomore, what to visit, where to eat deliciously.
- And the last beach of Bar, where another short walk awaits you. Bigovice beach, a small pebbly beach (about 70 meters long) is located on the other side of the port and the railway terminal. It is about 5 km from the center of Bar. You can drive 3.5 km by car and then walk along a beautiful trail:42.0767627069971, 19.085882878918596. This is a wild beach, take water and food with you.
Useful:All the beaches of Bar and the surrounding area are pebbly.
The best restaurants in Bar or where to eat deliciously
Since Bar is a real city where life is in full swing all year round, even in winter most cafes and restaurants are open. Finding a restaurant or a tavern for dinner is not a problem.
Tip:There are many cafes of Montenegrin fast food in the city, where for 4-5 euros you can order a huge pljeskavica or cevap. It’s very tasty, be sure to try it.
Below are a few budget places that I really like. All of them will be marked on the city sights map below:
- Mala Kuzina: 42.10730432758072, 19.090533388718512. This is just a local fast food place where they cook meat on the grill. The above menu is from this cafe. Everything is delicious here.
- Gurman: 42.09579, 19.09494. Traditional restaurant where locals love to dine. Servings are big, very delicious. And the prices are low.
- Pulena Pizza Pub: 42.09874246297273, 19.095947405319958. This is a pizzeria, but there are also local dishes and draft beer. Pizza is always great. I recommend here for lunch.
- Well, and another cool fast food place with huge pljeskavica and cevap – Burger Palace: 42.09785, 19.09732.
TOP 5 places or what to visit in Bar and its surroundings
In fact, it is difficult to find at least five locations in the city that can be called a landmark.
Below is a map of the beaches, restaurants and attractions of Bar:
Green marks on the map – beaches
Purple marks – taverns and restaurants
Dark red marks – attractions
What to visit in Bar for a tourist:
- Stary Bar (old town) is the place where the history of the city began. Located 5 km from the coast. It is easy to get there by car, there is a city bus, you can even easily walk. Definitely the best attraction of the Bar. There are medieval streets, a fortress on a mountain, a clock tower, an aqueduct, a fortress gate and an observation deck for the whole area.
- Coordinates: 42.093182768878016, 19.13561003849105
- Ticket price: 3 euros
- The bus from Bar runs frequently, the fare is 0.5 euros
- Working hours: from 8:00 to 20:00
- How much time to visit: 60 minutes, there is not much to see as it seems
Author rating:8 points out of 10. The best attraction in the city. Must visit. The only thing is, of course, you are unlikely to be able to come here every day. It’s still far. And the fortress is not in perfect condition, badly destroyed and looks more like ruins.
- The oldest olive tree in Montenegro. It is over 2000 years old, it still remembers the Romans :). A very strange attraction. A large and beautiful tree fell victim to the Montenegrin business. Here the business plan is as simple as possible: they surround it with a fence, put up a cash desk and take money. There are hundreds of such olives in the country, perhaps this one is the oldest, but there is nothing special here. Not even a toilet or a drinking fountain was installed, only a ticket office and a souvenir shop. Coordinates: 42.08015, 19.12938
- Oliva is located 5.6 km from Bar, not far from the old Bar. Convenient to combine a visit.
- The ticket costs 1 euro.
- Opening hours from 8:00 to 21:00
- The tree can be seen from the road, you don’t have even to buy a ticket.
- How much time to visit: 3 minutes
- Of the advantages: here are the cheapest souvenirs in Montenegro.
Author rating:2 points out of 10. One point was given because the tree is really big and beautiful. But to call it a landmark is very difficult. Only if you pass by, you can stop for a minute and look.
- Temple of St. John Vladimir. This landmark is already in Bar near the waterfront. The temple is beautiful, illuminated in the evening. It will be interesting first of all to those who like religious themes.
- King Nikola Palace. Today there is a historical museum inside the palace. This is a classic historical museum, where exhibits of the life of local residents of various periods of Montenegrin history are collected.
- Coordinates: 42.1006, 19.09131
- Opening hours: 9:00 to 20:00
- Ticket price: 5 euros
- How long does it take to visit: The museum is small, two floors. In half an hour it is easy to see the entire exposition.
Author rating:6 out of 10. A beautiful building from the outside, you can walk through the well-groomed garden in the yard. You can go to the museum if you wish, you will not see anything new there.
Here are all the main attractions of the city. There isn’t much else to see here. Below is a list of interesting places outside of Bar and reviews of them, you can travel both by bus and by car.
- The young resort of Dobra Voda: beaches, restaurants. Only 9km from Bar.
- The southernmost city of Montenegro is Ulcinj. Only 25 km from Bar and you will find a medieval fortress, a 13 km long beach, an abandoned saltworks, the island of Ada Bojana. This is one of my favorite cities to visit.
- 20 km from Bar is the village of Virpazar on the shores of Lake Skadar. It is from here that you can go for a boat trip on one of the largest lakes in the Balkans.
And in the north of the city there are such resorts as:
- Sutomore – 5 km. A link to the review of Sutomore was in the chapter about beaches.
- Petrovac – 18km
- Hallmark of Montenegro, island hotel Sveti Stefan – 28 km. You can visit all three resorts in one day and return back in the evening.
Accommodation : hotels and apartments
There are no problems with accommodation in the Bar. Huge selection of hotels and apartments. The prices are reasonable even in season. If you compare the prices for accommodation with other Montenegrin resorts, then in Bar they are quite low. Lower than in Kotor or Budva.
Below is a dynamic rating of popular apartments and hotels in Bar: you can click on each option, see prices, photos and reviews.
- For more accommodation options in the city, see the link
Is it true that shopping in Bar is better than in Italy?
I get asked this question so often. I don’t know who writes on the Internet that the Bar is almost the world capital of shopping. Probably people who have never traveled further than Bar in their lives 🙂
In any outlet in Europe, at any seasonal sales in other countries, shopping is no worse, and in many places it is better.
- Looking for luxury items? You need to go to Milan with a pack of euros.
- Need a coat? – go to Greece
- Do you need a mass market? – You need to go to Turkey.
- In Montenegrin stores, prices are not lower than the rest of Europe. And the selection is much worse. And the two largest outlets in the country are located in Podgorica, and not in Bar.
- You can read more about shopping in Montenegro in the article at the link. The whole truth is there.
Below are a few of Bar’s big stores, for your understanding and convenience:
- Technomax: 42.09256085116414, 19.101830914021306. Large electronics hypermarket.
- LC Waikiki: 42.09233073718986, 19.10191220231511.An ordinary large Turkish mass market store. Prices are the same everywhere in Europe, seasonal sales are the same as everywhere else. You can buy jeans for 10 euros on sale.
- HDL Lakovic: 42.091680604842146, 19.101963383854415. Very large grocery hypermarket – has everything you need.
- Cakan: 42.09240239114767, 19.110647900149885. Sports outlet store. We buy sneakers here. Nike, Adidas, Puma for 30-40-50 euros.
By the way, we bought sneakers for 30-40 euros in the outlet stores in both Warsaw and Belgrade. So there is nothing supernatural here. This is the standard price in Europe.
How to get to Bar: bus, train
A short chapter but with a little secret that is rarely talked about.
I said at the beginning of the article that Bar is the transport and logistics center of the country, albeit for freight traffic. The city has an excellent location: 50 km to Podgorica and its international airport, 35 km to the main resort of the country of Budva and 58 km to Tivat airport. There are buses from almost any city on the coast, they run quite often, the prices are affordable.
It’s important to know:There are no direct buses from airports. You can only come with a change in Podgorica or Budva. But if you arrive at Podgorica airport, then there is a railway line from the capital to Bar, which goes just through the airport. Every day, 6 to 10 electric trains run along this route with a stop at the Aerodrom station. Read more about this station, how to find it, where to buy a ticket, in the article buses and trains in Montenegro. Just an hour and you are by the sea.
In conclusion: the city of Bar is perfect for tourists for 1-2 days, those who arrived in Podgorica and want to quickly get to the coast. Or those who are going on the ferry to Italy. And as an option for vacationers with small children, a city on a plain with wide sidewalks and a long promenade, walking with a stroller will be a pleasure. For everyone else, drive by, no beaches, no sights, no Montenegrin atmosphere.
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Montenegro
- Flights at the best prices with discounts
- Car rental in Montenegro (cheaper – only by bus):
- Hotels and apartments all over the country: Booking
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual card in Montenegro
- Taxi and transfers from Montenegro airports: Intui.Travel